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July 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Is Andy Rose a Rookie of the Year candidate?

rose mug 2012.jpgMany of the best MLS players took center stage in Wednesday’s All-Star Game against Chelsea FC — a pair of Sounders were among them — but in buildup to the high-profile exhibition, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid felt one of the young contributors on his team deserves some attention leaguewide, as well.

That player? Midfielder Andy Rose, who Schmid is backing as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

“I think everybody gets excited because another rookie scores a goal or does this (and that),” Schmid said, “but I think stepping into the engine room of a team that’s expected to be a contender for the Western Conference title and holding your own is a pretty big accomplishment. It’s a lot harder breaking into midfield than it is either (at defender or forward).”

Rose, 22, has played the last 13 MLS game as a central midfielder for the Sounders, including eight starts. He’s also one of just two players who have played every minute of every U.S. Open Cup game this year in Seattle’s run to a fourth-straight final.

Goals and assists — figures that usually factor into postseason awards — aren’t the best measure of Rose’s impact, but he still has two of each in all competitions this season.

“My role is to do a lot of the dirty work, a lot of the tracking back, maybe a lot of the stuff that people don’t see, which is fine for me,” he said. “I’ve never been one that’s been too bothered about the glory. I’m more about the team.”

The Sounders acquired Rose in a trade during the MLS Supplemental Draft after the UCLA product wasn’t selected in the two-round MLS SuperDraft.

Schmid has admitted he regrets not taken Rose sooner. The native of Bristol, England, said he has used his draft-day drop as motivation, even while being “not too bothered about all the accolades.”

“To be involved in a conversation like (Rookie of the Year) would be great, obviously personally,” Rose said, “but that’s something I’ll think about in December — hopefully late December — when the season’s over.”

* * *

What do you think? Should Rose be in the conversation for MLS Rookie of the Year?

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